Don Royster's legacy lives on through music

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DECLO, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Music fills the auditorium in Declo.

“He's still benefiting me in my life fifty years ago, forty years ago he taught me and he's taught hundreds and hundreds of students I’m sure and now it's kind of come full circle,” said Roger Turner, Declo High School Music Teacher. “Don is still affecting my life because of the Don Royster foundation so that's pretty awesome.”

Declo High School had been eyeing a new piano for years.

But with the $10,000 price tag, they were having a hard time trying to find the money, that's when they got a helping hand.

“I said there's one other possibility and that's the Don Royster foundation I have heard that they have bought pianos before for other schools,” said Turner.

Don Royster was born and raised in Filer, Idaho.

He graduated with masters and doctorates degrees in music history from Yale University.

He spent thirty years teaching music to students in the Mini-Cassia region and upon his death left his estate to continue to build and support the music community.

“Not only that but it takes a lot of discipline to learn how to play an instrument, it takes a lot of discipline to play football to play basketball to be really good at academics,” said Turner. “So that's what helps kids is to learn that discipline.”

This 1968 9-foot Baldwin Concert Grand Piano was previously owned by CSI for nearly 50 years.

Keeping it in Southern Idaho means the memories and music can live on.

“My goal is to make sure every kid has that experience where they play a piece of music and it makes chills run up and down their spine and inspires them and says ‘Wow that felt really good I want to do that again,’ ” said Turner.

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